These shoes are made for walking

Nikko has new shoes or braces as they’re rightly called. He needs them to help him walk properly. 

Nikko, is a 91/2-year old Brussels Griffon. He had met Erin several years ago. 12511526_10153772085237508_1430148356_nErin had fallen madly in love with him then but over time, she lost touch with Nikko’s family and did not get to see him.

Then one day in early 2015 she was contacted by one of them and told Erin that “Nikko misses you. He’s kind of neglected here.” Without any hesitation, Erin made arrangements to get Nikko – 12510020_10153772101207508_599263172_oThis was Nikko in Feb 2015 when he arrived home at Erin’s – looking unsure as he joined her family.12459864_10153768073707508_536547557_nLeft to right: Baxter (Cockapoo), Sven (Burnese Mountain Dog), Nikko (Brussel Griffon), Regis (Beagle Boxer mix)

Then Erin noticed that he wasn’t quite right. His front paws were badly deformed. His nails were VERY long and were starting to grow into his pads. 5675_10153765568357508_796529899461320047_nHis wrists were hyper-extended, meaning when he stands, his wrists aren’t able to properly support his weight.  They were bending too much. 10363884_10153765559812508_139622284248830579_nAnd this is how his wrists were when he’s resting.12376416_10153765561382508_2490722599457927153_nErin consulted with the vets to figure out what had happened and importantly how to help him. X-rays showed that his 4th and 5th metacarpal bones in both front paws had been broken at some point in the past and never healed properly. He is able to get around with no braces but it looked so painful.

It could not have been comfortable for him, but he never complained. Nikko was stoic.  He couldn’t go far. He could not walk on the leash.12506785_10153772117552508_1328718433_n So he mozies around the yard to look for a comfortable place to sit in the sun. 12482889_10153768099077508_1413970008_o-2He can’t run though he has little bursts of energy.

The vet tried putting splints on him for six weeks. He learnt to walk on them pretty quickly. 12464031_10153768146577508_1562899084_nAfter six weeks they figured that they were as straight as they could get them12477056_10153768147902508_1773462682_o and the vet suggested getting him braces to help support his leg.

Erin went to My Pet’s Brace in Pennsylvania – where they make custom orthotics, prosthetics and wheel devices for dogs and other animals.  Here is a video of Nikko learning to walk with his new braces.

Given his age and the extent of his injury, it seems like he will be needing them for a long while yet. But who knows – maybe the braces and his walking a lot more may help to build up his strength.  580365_10153765514797508_2850036452907973729_n-580x884The most important thing though is Nikko is home. 12483544_10153768140262508_74576316_nAnd he has a “band of brothers” to keep him company.12499113_10153768136257508_1479340413_oNikko and Regis12510966_10153775750742508_1693975201_oNikko and Sven12499099_10153772110977508_1271937577_o12467888_10153768106717508_1777078840_n-2Nikko and Baxter

And who’s this? Even a kitty cat called Marcus!12494232_10153772139947508_2031844505_oHe may not be able to keep up with them, but he sure has lots of quality snooze time.12490240_10153768136837508_286572902_o 12483443_10153768137592508_1849827563_nMay’s comment: Saw this story on I Love My Cockapoo Facebook page.  The video of Nikko and his braces made me curious.  So I contacted Erin to see if she would like to share his story. When she did, it made me well up with tears of anger thinking what could have happened to Nikko during those in between years when Erin lost touch with him and how he must have suffered and in pain.  Erin didn’t ask and doesn’t know how he came to be in the state he is in today, but what’s happened is the past. We both wanted to focus on Nikko’s progress and how he is coping today in his new home.

So then even more tears seeing how he is now a part of a family who loves him.12476770_10153768071592508_532671083_oNikko is 9 1/2 and he will spend the rest of his years showered in love. Thank you Erin for sharing. Thank you for making us feel better because you’re an angel for Nikko.12516069_10153772289087508_1890434912_n



  1. Jill Keiser

    Such a sweet story! Thanks to Erin for getting Nikko the help he needed. So glad he has other fur buddies to love him in his wonderful new home!

  2. Liz

    Little sweetheart. I don’t know how people can let animals suffer like that. Thank heavens for people like Erin.

  3. Margaret Danks

    Bless his wee heart. Thank goodness for people like you,May and Erin. Good souls.

  4. joanne taylor

    Such a beautiful story and Nikko is a little sweetie pie. I’m not surprised that Erin tried everything in her power to get Nikko the help he needed to make the quality of his life the best it could be. Her love and devotion to her four legged and two legged family is amazing to witness. Once you are in her heart, you stay forever. She is such a beautiful person inside and out ! I wish all animals could have mommies like her ! Thanks to all that helped Nikko. He is in exactly where he is supposed to be…. <3

  5. Lisa

    You are truly a angel .. Thank God for you caring so much for Neeko to make him very comfortable from this injury ?????

  6. Christina LeDee

    What a wonderful outcome for the wee little dog. He has finally found
    a loving person to spend the rest of his days with.

  7. Gina Bonavito

    Such an amazing person Erin is, I am greatful for people like her in this world to have such love for these babies! I know her Dad and he updates me all the time on Nikko! It’s wonderful to hear what progress he’s making thanks to the Love and compassion in Erin. She truly is these animals guardian angel and I am inspired by all that she does for them. I love to hear these stories and want to thank Erin for being the person she is, and wish there were more like her in this world!! From Gina in New York

  8. Claire

    This is about my daughter and “grand son”! Erin is so wonderful with all animals – but Nikko is really special – and extremely lucky to have been rescued by Erin –
    Her Mum,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  9. Claire

    I am very proud of Erin!
    My family all love animals – I have 3 rescue dogs – Chester, Earl and Randy – my middle daughter has 2 rescue cats – Kitty Boy and Indiana – my youngest daughter has 2 rescue cats – Bowie and Jamie, 2 rats – Hazel and Penelope and even a rescue fish named Ben,
    Our animals are our family…………all special and loved.

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  1. Paw-tying with Nikko in NYC!

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